US Travel Restrictions Tighten Due to COVID Omicron Variant

According to a statement made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US has implemented new travel restrictions requiring all international air travelers age two or older, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative COVID-19 viral test taken no more than one day before travel to the US. These new US travel entry requirements went into effect Monday, December 6.

The CDC is recommending that travelers to the US also get a COVID-19 viral test three to five days after arriving in the US, and that unvaccinated travelers should quarantine for one week after travel.

This is occurring less than one month after the US announced it was lifting its travel ban for fully vaccinated international visitors and tourists starting November 8, 2021.

The previous COVID testing rules for entering the US included showing proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within three days of arrival to the US. The new requirement for a coronavirus test taken within one day of arrival to the US supersedes the previous U.S. travel restrictions.  

Why is the US Changing COVID-19 Testing Rules?

The changes to US travel restrictions are in response to the highly transmissible COVID-19 omicron variant, first discovered in late November. There have now been reported cases of the COVID omicron variant in more than 24countries.

Will New US Travel Restrictions Still Let Me Travel to the US?

Travelers are still allowed to enter the US per the travel guidelines put in place on November 8, with the mandate for a COVID-19 viral test taken within one day of departure to the US now an added requirement.

With the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 and its variants, this is likely not the last adjustment we will see to US travel entry requirements. Travelers are encouraged to keep advised of all current testing rules to ensure that they are allowed entry to the US.

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